Ep. 145 – Jane Swift: Who Failed You?
December 1, 2015•61 min
You can have power, but it comes with a lot of bullshit. When Spider-Man’s Uncle Ben said, “With great power comes great responsibility,” he was trying to say that power comes with a lot of BS. It’s a good warning. We want all of the power and none of the bullshit. And then you hear everyone complaining. It’s hard to be a good guy. My guest today, Jane Swift, is the youngest female governor in U.S. history turned CEO of Middlebury Interactive Languages. She’s a superhero. During her campaign, she was pregnant with twins. She also already had a daughter. But that didn’t stop her. She gives and expects nothing in return. That’s what I do. Think about your obstacles. Now imagine doing more and complaining less. Sometimes, you might feel like you either have energy and no resources, or resources and no energy. Jane created both. And in today’s podcast, she'll teach you how. I asked her what inspired her. “It’s really around the passionate belief that I could make things better,” she tells me. Her superpowers are her passion mixed with energy and focus. She uses them to help others. As governor, Jane was passionate about education. She says all children have gifts. And this is true for adults, too. Maybe someone failed you – the school system, or your parents. And now you’re grown up. You’re at a point in your life where you feel you should know what you’re doing with your finances, your career, your family. Maybe you’re feeling lost now. If no one patted your back, told you you’re special, and helped you figure out what you’re good at, you may feel like someone is sitting on your chest. You are lying there with weight, pressure, a heaviness inside you that says, "I’m stuck here." But it’s not too late to find out what you’re good at. Jane’s goal was, and still is, to give kids opportunities in life. Don’t you wish someone wanted the same for you now? I do. The difference is, you have to choose yourself. Part of that is surrounding yourself with the right people. Who are the right people? Jane says, “Sometimes, depending on the issue, the right people around the table are folks who you know well and trust a great deal.” Plainly, if you pick the wrong people, you’ll be stressed and you’ll waste energy. How you spend your energy is your choice. And that’s powerful. The other resource we crave is money. Campaigning, Jane didn’t have that either. She hustled. "I tend to outwork people,” she says. “As a working mother, I’ve learned to work hard and smart.” She raised $60,000 for her campaign. Some people wrote checks to support her. Others baked brownies, and she had bake sales… That’s old school hustling. Sometimes, to make things happen, you have to go back to the basics. You don’t become a superhero by trying to be a superhero. You become a superhero by overcoming whatever’s in your way. “I had to be really crisp and really convincing, and really think through my position on a number of issues to convince people that a 25 year old woman, a couple of years out of college, would be a better state senator than a 7 term incumbent,” she says. Start small. Try to improve 1% a day. The people who baked brownies helped at least 1%. That’s how you gain momentum. And that’s what you’ll learn in today’s episode. You’ll learn how to hustle, earn power, and, if you’re lucky, become a superhero, too.